Knee injury lands Rangers defenseman Ozolinsh on IR

NEW YORK -- Defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh's tumultuous tenure with the New York Rangers has taken another turn.

More than a week after being assigned to the minors, Ozolinsh on Thursday was placed on injured reserve by the Rangers due to a knee condition.

A Stanley Cup winner with Colorado in 1996, Ozolinsh was acquired from Anaheim on March 9 but has failed to display the form that made him a seven-time All-Star. Despite representing his native Latvia at the Winter Olympics this past February, the 34-year-old registered just six goals and 20 points in 36 games with the Ducks and Rangers last season while also spending time in the NHL's substance abuse program.

After being arrested over the summer for driving while impaired, Ozolinsh has notched only three assists in 21 contests this season. He was assigned to Hartford of the American Hockey League on Dec. 19 but did not report because of his knee problems.

Ozolinsh, who also played in the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, will continue to be treated by the Rangers' medical staff while on IR.

New York also announced right wing Jed Ortmeyer has been medically cleared to play and assigned him to Hartford for conditioning. The 28-year-old Omaha native was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism Aug. 13 but was cleared for contact Nov. 24 after undergoing tests.

Ortmeyer appeared in five games with the Wolf Pack during a conditioning assignment earlier this month, recording a goal and two assists. Last season with the Rangers, he had five goals and seven points in 78 contests.